Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oregon Trail

I'll be moving over the next two weeks or so, and my posts will be even more sporadic than ever. I've decided not to brew for a minute, seeing as moving 50 gallons of beer in glass carboys is a hell of a task. If I'm not brewing then I don't have much to talk about.

Aaron died of cholera.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I walked into a local establishment to order some food, and of course check the beer selection. They had a bottle of each variety(other than draft beer) proudly displayed on a shelf above the register. One of the selections was black butte porter from deschutes. The particular bottle on display appeared really old, and I asked if I could purchase it. The server said she would ask the owner. I went back with a fresh bottle of B.B.P. today, and the owner was kind enough to swap bottles with me. The only stipulation was that I did not imbibe the aforementioned beverage. I agreed, but of course went home to refrigerate my trophy. I asked how old she thought the beer was, and she said she'd been in business for 7 years, and it'd been on display the whole time. When I opened the beer it smelled as fresh as ever. Quite thin, but twice as chocolatey as any pint of B.B.P. I've ever had. All in all it was a very good beer. This re-enforces my trust in beer. I've done some mean things to beer, and she's still so good to me. Old hops, culturing yeast from 2 year old smack packs, and dry yeast from '93. It's harder to make a bad beer than a good beer in my opinion. That bottle spent 7 years on a shelf with no love? How could that be? There's a beer out there for everyone, and I love this one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't knock it till' you "DRY" it.

Working at a home-brew store, I'm around for a lot of debates about techniques, ingredients, and practices in home-brewing. Plastic vs. glass, iodophor vs. star-san, and of course liquid vs. dry yeast.

White Labs has a platinum strain of yeast called the "Australian Ale", and from what I can tell it's just coopers dry yeast in liquid form. So I decided to find out. I've brewed with the coopers dry before so I know what characteristics it has. My favorite is the bready flavor, and mouth-feel it leaves behind. I brewed a double batch(10gal.) of a standard pale, and added the coopers dry to one, and the coopers wet to the other. 12 hours after inoculating both batches the results were exactly what I expected. The dry yeast was already going, and had some krausen, where as the liquid was doing basically nothing. Things progressed as expected. The dry went very fast and finished quickly. The liquid took a few more days to finish out. The only thing uniquely different was the krausen they produced. The dry was thick, rocky, and almost filmy. The liquid had a beautiful white layer of foam. In secondary the dry took a few extra days to clear up, but the liquid yeast dropped out of suspension almost overnight. I just kegged them both, so of course I had to try them. The liquid had more of a hop bite, and was a bit lighter in body. The dry had a more subdued bitterness, and definitely more of the bready flavor. In a blind taste test everyone picked the beer brewed with the dry yeast, and I couldn't even tell much of a difference between them myself. We'll see what happens once they've conditioned for a bit. I'm not really sure what we're all supposed to learn from this, but in summation, BREW MORE BEER!!!




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mini Mead Experiments

I love sugar.
I love yeast.
Honey fermented with a Belgian yeast has been haunting me for months now, and my love for sour beer endures.

#1 This is my first run at anything fermented entirely with Brett, so I'm not sure what to expect, especially with honey as the only fermentable sugar.

#2 I'm getting a lot of banana flavor from the farmhouse yeast, and I love the low F.G.'s too. Ferocious little mother fuckers.

This Hef is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Nice rotten red bananas, and plantains burnt to perfection in a cup of wort, and sprinkled with palm sugar.